This topic has 7 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 11 months ago by Former Member Content Archive.

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  • #14797

    Hey all,

    So, being a self-taught individual who has kind of lucked and networked her way through life to get to where she’s at, I’ve never had someone who has sat me down to tell me the proper way to write up a resume and make a portfolio. Currently, I’m a bit comfy in a resident artist position, but this past summer I was able to go on my first summer stock adventure, and I almost didn’t get the job solely because my resume was not formatted “properly”.

    For the inevitable time when I need to try to get a job where no one knows me and my work, I really need to revamp my paperwork!

    So, I’d love to hear your tips, lessons, rules-of-thumb, whathaveyous about making an effective resume and/or portfolio!

    Thanks! 😀

    #15378
     Angelique Powers
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

    • Member
      Member Member

    One of these days some smart bossy Scenic is going to make a great speech about how to do a resume for a Scenic Artist that we can all follow and the world will be great. Until then it’s all dealers choice.

    When you get the part of the resume for job experience and you have only worked a little bit as a Scenic Artist I would suggest the heading “Scenic Artist Experience ” then list the company name, shows worked and dates. If you worked different levels (Charge,Lead,intern) etc then you could group those together.

    Some will tell you that listing the designer is always required (kinda like how an actor lists directors) but that can take up a lot of valuable space.

    Since you are new to this field it’s ok to also have a “related” section with jobs that are artistic but not scenic. Hopefully more people pitch in ideas as well.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    #15379

    I’m not new to resumes and job applications but I am new as a scenic.

    I don’t have a website, is there a format for a digital portfolio you can send or is that obsolete now? I can’t really tell if I’m putting in the sort of stuff people want to see or if I need more information for the images. I just have the show/project name, and what was painted/the work I did.

    Any tips for portfolios?

    #15380
     Angelique Powers
    • Experience: 20+ years
    • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

    • Member
      Member Member

    This is what I tell my students just starting out –

    1. Bosses want to see what you can do, and that you understand the process for getting stuff done – so having a couple of process shots next to the final product, shows that you know what steps it takes to make wood, textures, drops etc

    1.5 – if you only did a small part of the set, its okay to post a picture of that, with or with out a photo of the whole set.

    2- The two big online portfolio places that artists use the most – Wix and SquareSpace have defaulted portfolio options that you can start with by just dropping in your text and photos

    3. Steal ideas (not work!) Almost all of the super talented authors that submit articles for our blog “The Scenic Route” have a website portfolio linked to their bio at the end of the article.

    I would start by visiting those portfolios and see how they present their work, find a style that speaks to you as an artist,and then copy it and make it your own– WITH YOUR OWN WORK!!

    4- Unlike a resume, you do not need to work chronologically – put your best stuff at the front, or group like things with like things (sets at one theatre, all drops, faux finishes)

    5- DO NOT LIE OR STEAL CREDIT!!!!!!!!!!! You will get caught, you will be made a fool of, and we will tell other people.

    #15381
     Batul Rizvi
    • Experience: 10-15 years
    • Scenic Status: Other

    • Member
      Member Member

    I highly recommend making a website for your work. I use WordPress (<a href="http://www.batulrizvidesign.com&#8221; class=”bbcode_url”>http://www.batulrizvidesign.com), which I found to be easy to use to get what I needed across. I think the most important thing is to make your work clearly organized so your employer doesn’t have to do more work to find what they need.

    I personally don’t like Wix and if you’re looking for something not temporary and professional, I’d go with SquareSpace or WordPress.

    Start with all your photos for your work and see which are not that great quality. I’d recommend batch editing in Photoshop just to get an uniform aspect ratio for landscape and portrait photos. With scenic art, our process photos aren’t always in the best light, etc. – so try not to color correct and change the integrity of your work.

    Process photos are equally as important as your end product photo. I’d find ways to caption your work (whether it’s image by image, or at the bottom of your images) and guide us through your process or give us a scope of what you had to do for the project.

    Find a gallery template for your images that let you enlarge the image from the thumbnail size. Also, some of the better websites I’ve seen have less bells & whistles – so don’t get bogged down with scrolling, fading, background colors, etc. Keep it simple and focus on your work. You want your “theme” (typography, colors, etc) to be clean and unified.

    I really like portfolio websites and resumes (I have about 8 or 9 of mine that I did for fun), so let me know if I can help answer any questions! I definitely don’t know all the answers, but I’m happy to help!

    #15382
     Anonymous

    So, weird admission, I love this stuff.

    Some more thoughts about Resume formatting:

    Rule 1: Make it Scannable. What do I mean by that? Columns are key. Interviewers should be able to scan straight down a list of venues, a list of designers, a list of charges, etc to see what stands out to them. Don’t make them search for the info they need.

    Rule 2: It’s a list, not an essay. In many industries, it’s typical to have little descriptive phrases and objectives below each job title. Don’t do that. If it doesn’t fit into you column format, you don’t need it. The only place you’re allowed 3 lines of reading is in your Special Skills section.

    Rule 3: Name drop. With how often scenics switch jobs, switch venues, pick up side projects, etc, the value of your experience is best showed in how many connections you’ve developed in your career so far. So NAME DROP. If I as an interviewer see that you’ve charged for a designer I’m close with, or painted at a venue with someone I know, I’m probably going to text them about you for an under the radar reference, before I would call your listed references. Accept this, and list as many connections and names as you can.

    Build your resumes in Excel or Google Sheets to keep all your columns sharply in line. Here is a template I found about 8 years ago (not my work) that I’ve often cited as a good starting point.
    [attachment=0]Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 9.47.06 AM.png[/attachment]

    Important to note:

    – I’m a proponent of leaving out the Date column entirely. Takes up too much room, and highlights if you’re a newbie, or if you have a weird work gap you don’t feel like explaining.

    – I don’t recommend switching alignment of the columns halfway down that page. That breaks the Scannable rule noted above. Pick a format and stick to it.

    – You can switch column headings halfway down a page, though. So in your Scenic Charge section, the [people] column is headed “Designer”. In the Scenic Artist Column, the [people] column is headed “Charge Artist”. The [place] column might be headed “Client” or “Venue” or “producing organization” etc.

    – if you’ve worked one place a whole lot and don’t want to fill half you page with the same venue title, you might change the Show Name to something like “8 shows in 3 seasons” at “XXX venue” working for “[2 fave designers] & others”

    – I’m not a fan of listing a full address. General location is enough, i.e., Houston Texas, willing to travel.

    – Be very critical of what you’re listing as your Special Skills. It should not say Faux Finishing unless I can hire you to help me marble a million dollar dining room. It shouldn’t say Trompe L’oiel if the only time you’ve done it is a 2-week project in college. Focus less on a list of techniques you’ve tried, and more on what you love to do that sets you apart. This is also a chance to let a little of your personality out.

    Mega post. hope it’s useful!

    #15383
     Anonymous

    Thought of something else that’s useful about the Special Skills stuff.

    When you’ve got a few years (or decades) of experience under your belt, it’s pretty easy to rattle off a list of valuable skills you’re good at, like HVLP and airbrush guns, aerial and boom lift certifications, and budgeting and crew management.

    But what if you’re in college, or just starting out, and you’ve only had your hands on a few dozen projects or tried an HVLP once or twice?

    Proficient, Adept, and Learning. You can divide your skills into 3 comfort levels, named in whatever way makes sense to you, as a way to quickly explain to your interviewer that you’re not claiming to be ready to faux marble that zillion dollar dining room, but that you are ready to learn more about it.

    So a beginner resume might say something like this:

    Adept at working as part of a team, meeting tight deadlines, skim coating walls, and fine art drawing.

    Proficient at pantone color matching, backdrop layout & bamboo work, and managing a show budget.

    Growing skills in faux marble, trompe l’oeil, airbrush work, and managing multiple projects.

    #15384

    Valeriepaints wrote:

    Thought of something else that’s useful about the Special Skills stuff.

    When you’ve got a few years (or decades) of experience under your belt, it’s pretty easy to rattle off a list of valuable skills you’re good at, like HVLP and airbrush guns, aerial and boom lift certifications, and budgeting and crew management.

    But what if you’re in college, or just starting out, and you’ve only had your hands on a few dozen projects or tried an HVLP once or twice?

    Proficient, Adept, and Learning. You can divide your skills into 3 comfort levels, named in whatever way makes sense to you, as a way to quickly explain to your interviewer that you’re not claiming to be ready to faux marble that zillion dollar dining room, but that you are ready to learn more about it.

    So a beginner resume might say something like this:

    Adept at working as part of a team, meeting tight deadlines, skim coating walls, and fine art drawing.

    Proficient at pantone color matching, backdrop layout & bamboo work, and managing a show budget.

    Growing skills in faux marble, trompe l’oeil, airbrush work, and managing multiple projects.

    Ah!! This is so helpful! Its always overwhelming trying to navigate around this!

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